If you’re looking for a local dessert the 4th of July, look no further, but make plans to get up early for those cherries! While we don’t grow much fruit on our farm (and the 2015 strawberries were mostly rained out), we do grow many things that can be used in baking! Like basil, which made it to the CSA shares just in time for a festive dessert this weekend. For the 4th of July we’re using the coolest skillet we have in the kitchen.
These state shaped skillets came to us courtesy of American Skillet Co., a small company based out of Madison, WI. These skillets are handcrafted every step of the way – including the organic flax oil seasoning. Though they look small, you can fit more than you think inside. This scaled down cobbler will make 4 modest desserts and I’m including measurements for a larger version. Cherries just came into season in Central New York, and as I mentioned you’ll have to hit the market early to get your hands on some! Truly for the sake of festivity I added a handful of New Jersey blueberries from the co-op. If you’re in a warmer region, you might have access to both in which case a 50/50 mix would be perfect! You can also try straight blueberries or cherries.
This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from The Lee Bros. The cornbread biscuit topping is the perfect pair to sweet, soft fruit. Deb of Smitten Kitchen’s filling is just sweet enough, and I only made a few changes like swapping cherries for peaches and lime juice for lemon. At first the lime juice was out of necessity, but then became a brilliant idea, because Cherry Limeade. Fresh whipped cream finishes the dish and if you’re the type to plan ahead you can infuse it with basil leaves the night before. If not just dollop some cream or a scoop of ice cream over the top and serve. Garnish with basil.
Basil Cherry Cobbler
To fit in an American Skillet Co. USA Skillet
OR Small Cast Iron Skillet or Baking Dish
2 1/2 cups pitted cherries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 – 4 basil leaves, stacked together, rolled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Make the filling: Toss the pitted cherries, sliced basil, blueberries, sugar, flour, and lime juice together in a bowl. Transfer to skillet. I filled the skillet to the tippy top, and baked in on top of a baking sheet, but it didn’t boil over.
Make the biscuits. Use a fork to sift together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small chunks, then use a fork, your fingers, or 2 butter knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture. It should resemble sandy clumps. Stir in the buttermilk until just mixed. The dough should be thick and tacky.
Drop spoonfuls of the dough, evenly spaced over the filling. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until biscuits start to brown on top and fruit is bubbly. Top with whipped cream or ice cream. Garnish with fresh basil.
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